Last spring, the noted bioregionalist and widely published writer, Stephanie Mills encouraged Nature Change to look at alternative education options for re-connecting people and place. For example, she said we should visit the Human Nature School.
In this short video, Stephanie offers a short introduction to the work of the Human Nature School, a small nonprofit organization headquartered at the Grand Traverse Commons in Traverse City. She said this group of outdoor education specialists have developed a number of experiential learning options for children and adults.
We joined Stephanie for a visit with the instructors and a group of children engaged in a holistic nature education program to support home schooling. The Human Nature School offers parents who home school their children this weekly opportunity to develop a “deep nature connection” through mediated interaction with the forested park connected to the Grand Traverse Commons.
For the Human Nature School, all classes are conducted outdoors on the lawn under the trees, along the trails in the woods, and at the little creek that flows through the area. Instructor Chelsea Nester helps to guide the moving class as the children explore, discover, and connect. According to the school’s website, their curriculum is designed to develop each student’s common sense, teamwork, communication, problem solving skills, leadership qualities, “response-ability,” peacemaking, and gratitude. Students enjoy experiential learning woven with compelling stories, songs, and hands-on activities.